Tiny Robots Could Suck Carbon Dioxide from the Oceans

Tiny machines, smaller than the width of a single human hair, have been designed at the University of California, San Diego, that could be used to rid the oceans of carbon dioxide pollution, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. The team of researchers, led by distinguished nanoengineering professor and chair Joseph Wang, have […]

Water on Mars – what is the significance?

Yesterday (28th September 2015), Jim Green, the director of planetary science, confirmed that “under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars”. But what does this mean in terms of science, the habitability of Mars, and humanity’s future with the red planet? What did NASA find? Firstly, let’s discuss what NASA has found on […]

Mars – a Mystery Solved?

Last Thursday (24th September), NASA posted on their website that they would be announcing a major breakthrough in its exploration of Mars at a news press conference at its headquarters in Washington later today (28th September 2015). The conference will be attended by leading figures including Jim Green, director of planetary science and Michael Meyer, […]

Chemists Call for End to Chemical Warfare

On 22 April 1915, the nature of warfare was forever changed by the use of 150 tonnes of lethal chlorine gas by German forces against two French colonial divisions in Ypres, Belgium, during World War I. A century on from this first, large-scale use of chemical weapons of mass destruction, the Organisation for the Prohibition […]

St Andrews Starts Largest Electric Car Club in Scotland

Last week, the University of St Andrews teamed up with Transport Scotland and E-Car to launch the largest electric car club in Scotland (and the first ever in Fife!).   The club is comprised of a fleet of ten electric vehicles (eight Renault ZOE hatchbacks and two Renault Kangoo vans) which can be hired by […]

Candidate for the First Ever Head Transplant Found

Following on from my earlier article (link below) about the world’s first head transplant, it seems that Dr Canavero, from the Turin Advanced Neuromoddulation Group, has found his very first head donor: a 30 year-old male Russian patient suffering from a rare genetic condition named Werdnig-Hoffman disease, more commonly known as Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA […]

Personalised cancer vaccines may be on the horizon

Research published this month in the journal “Science” has caused tentative excitement among cancer scientists. Encouraged by studies showing some cancer patients’ immune systems launching a response against cancer-encoded proteins, a research team in the USA successfully used vaccines to boost immune responses against melanoma tumours. [1] Cancers are masses of highly mutated cells, the specific combinations […]

NASA’s Curiosity Rover finds new evidence for Liquid Water on Mars

The Curiosity Rover, which has now been situated on the red planet since 2012, has found new evidence that suggests liquid water could exist on Mars. [1] Whilst liquid water has not be identified on Mars, new calculations based on weather and soil conditions, including the presence of Perchlorate salts, suggest that liquid brine (highly […]

European Mars Satellite enters final tests

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), which is expected to be launched in 2016, is entering its final tests before being transported to Russia, where the launch will happen. [1] This marks the first joint Mars mission venture between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), which aims to explore […]

A Genetic Link Between Autism and Cognitive Abilities Has Been Found

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia have found a genetic link between the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cognitive ability. [1] ASD is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurodevelopment disorders. It is commonly characterised by social impairments, communication deficits, and other limited, […]

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